Monthly Archives: May 2014

California Wildfire Zone Treated to Calmer Weather

May 29, 2014, AP

Weather looks to be friendlier for firefighters today as they hope to fully contain a Central California wildfire that led to the destruction of two homes.

Some 50 residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday night, two days after they were told to evacuate when the blaze broke out east of Lake McClure in Mariposa County, sheriff’s officials said.

About 700 firefighters working in steep terrain had the blaze 40 percent contained late Wednesday.

The fire has led to five injuries, including a moderate cut from a chain saw sustained by an inmate who was aiding the effort. Four other firefighters suffered minor injuries. The fire destroyed two
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Having VIN number etched in windshield has advantages

By ANGIE HICKS OF ANGIE’S LIST, Published: Monday, May. 26, 2014 – 5:11 am

As long as you don’t pay too much to get it done, having your vehicle’s identification number etched on its windshield and windows isn’t a bad idea. It might prompt would-be auto thieves to bypass your vehicle and could get you a discount on your car insurance premium, say top-rated auto experts.

In researching this topic, including conducting interviews with top-rated auto glass experts, insurance providers and even a member of a community police department’s crime prevention unit, our team found general support for the concept of etching a vehicle’s
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California Auto Insurance Rates Defy Upward Trend

By Marcy Gordon, AP

While Californians are getting squeezed by electricity costs, they’re getting the best deal in the country on car insurance because of a unique state law, a new study by a consumer group shows.

Auto insurance prices in California declined 4 percent between 1989 and 1998 while jumping an average 38.9 percent nationwide, according to a new survey released by Consumer Federation of America.

Insurance premiums have increased the most in Nebraska, South Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas, the survey shows. They have increased the least in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine and New Jersey.

Consumers nationwide spend an annual average of more than $700 per
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Viewpoints: More mischief in ‘top-two’ primary system

By Steve Maviglio
Special to The Bee

Published: Friday, May. 23, 2014 – 12:00 am

I have a confession to make. I’m voting for Republican Tim Donnelly for governor in June. Not because I agree with him on any issue. But because I can.

This year’s primary election marks the first time that California’s “top-two” primary system will allow voters to choose any candidate running for the state’s top offices. Voters not aligned with any political party get to vote for the candidate of their choice – without being forced to register with a political party. Yet it also allows Democrats to vote for Republicans, and Republicans to
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TNCs fight for footing in California’s legislature

POSTED ON MAY 21, 2014 BY 

A recent R Street post by Zachary Cohn laid out three steps that transportation network companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar should take to solidify their place in heavily regulated environments. One of his recommendations, to “focus on strengthening government relations in their new and existing cities,” is a lesson that TNCs have yet to learn at the state level here in California. If they fail to understand this soon, both they and the state could be worse off for it.

Many of California’s elected officials hew closely to a narrative about the state’s penchant for acting as an incubator to new
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CA Gearing up for Bad Wildfire Season!!

By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press, Updated 9:55 am, Monday, May 19, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) — All evacuation orders were lifted Sunday as firefighters gained the upper hand on the remaining four of nearly a dozen blazes that tore through Southern California last week — while the governor warned the state was gearing up for what could be one of the drought-stricken region’s worst wildfire seasons.

Gov. Jerry Brown told ABC’s “This Week” that the state has 5,000 firefighters and has appropriated $600 million to battling blazes, but that may not be enough in the future.

“We’re getting ready for the worst,” Brown said. “Now, we don’t want to anticipate before we know, but we need a full
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Bill Increases Fines for Texting While Driving

Published: Thursday, May. 15, 2014 – 4:33 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 15, 2014 – 4:46 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California drivers would face tougher consequences for chatting and texting on their cellphones while driving under a bill that passed the California Assembly.

Lawmakers voted 66-10 Thursday to approve AB1646 by Democratic Assemblyman Jim Frazier of Oakley.

The bill more than doubles the base fees for a first violation, from $20 to $50, and boosts the fine to $100 for subsequent violations. With additional penalties, the actual fines can be more than triple those amounts.

Under Frazier’s bill, a second ticket would also come with a one-point penalty on the driver’s license, which could lead to
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